Missouri Senior Rx Program to Expire
A Missouri program that helps seniors pay for pharmaceuticals is about to end. The Missouri Senior RX program coverage expires at the end of this month.
For V irginia Knight that is not good news. The senior chats with friends at the Joplin Senior Center says her social life might be hurt when Missouri RX expires June 30 th ,2017.
Knight’s co-pays for medicine range from six to ten dollars each now with Missouri RX paying fifty percent. Doubling her copay cost means she’ll spend sixty to one hundred dollars more on drugs each month.
Knight said, “It will make a burden to me. It will take quite a bit of money out of me each month cause, I have several prescriptions. I have about eight or ten prescriptions that have to be filled each month.”
Knight said she understands lawmakers needing to balance the budget, But even local representatives aren’t happy that the program isnt’ being funded again.
Rep. Bill White, from Joplin’s 161 st district said, “We fully funded the education formula for the first time in history at a time when we’re facing a five hundred million dollar shortfall of what we needed to spend. And a lot of that came out of seniors area, so I was very unhappy about how that got allocated.”
Pharmacist DJ Bertoncino said dozens of his customers will be impacted. News he’ll have to deliver July 1st .
Bertoncino said, “Yeah, it’s hard to tell somebody that. Especially if its something they may not be able to get if it’s too expensive. But also its a part of the health care system that’s in trouble.”
F or those who earn less than eighty-five percent of the poverty level, they’ll be no change at all. And Bertoncino said others can consider switching their prescription to a generic..
He added, ” That’s probably what we’ll do quite a bit on the medications that are high. Try to get them changed, call the doctor to get it changed to something that’s a lower price for them.”
Some customers have been coming in to get prescriptions before they’re out of the program at the end of the month. And for those like Virginia it could simply be more money out of pocket.
She said, “Well, I’ll just have to quit doing some of the things I do, like going out to eat as often as I do. Just doing a few things I like to do, I can’t do them anymore.”
Representative White said if the economy improves, lawmakers could reinstate the program next year with the state’s supplemental budget.
Senior citizens are receiving letters about the loss of coverage.
The letter offers five other possible resources. Find those at the following link.